Investigator Joseph Thomas Aversa

Investigator Joseph Thomas Aversa

New York State Police, New York

End of Watch Monday, March 5, 1990

Joseph Thomas Aversa

Investigator Joseph Aversa was shot and killed when an undercover drug deal went bad.

Investigator Aversa was conducting surveillance of undercover negotiations during a cocaine investigation, when the drug dealers fired at the undercover officer. Investigator Aversa led other task force members to the scene and was fatally wounded during an exchange of gunfire with the two drug traffickers. Two other task force members were injured in this incident. One of the suspects was shot and wounded and both were taken into custody at the scene. It was later determined that Investigator Aversa was accidentally shot by another officer.

The trial judge ruled that Investigator Aversa's death was a direct result of the actions of the suspects. Both were convicted of second degree murder, attempted murder, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. One was sentenced to 45 years to life and the other to 39 years to life.

Investigator Aversa had been employed with the New York State Police for six years and is survived by his wife. His wife became a State Trooper in 1994 and was assigned his shield number. His father is a retired New York City police officer.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 2345

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Accidental)

Most Recent Reflection

View all 37 Reflections

Joseph was my "Senior Man / Field Training Officer" in the Spring of 1989 at SP Wurtsboro in Sullivan County, New York following my graduation of the State Police Academy. I have long since retired after 21 years of service with the NYSP and there does not go by too many days when the thought of Joey does not cross my mind. The sights, sounds, and smells of those first days (and especially those nights) "on the road" are etched into my memory. Joe was tough as nails yet compassionate. He was sure to climb the ranks - he had the mindset, intelligence, and passion to do it. I think of his family often - especially his mom and dad and wife and what they must feel each day. I share your story often Joe with students I teach at SUNY Orange so that stories of true hero crime fighters will not be forgotten. RIP my Brother. TimZ

Investigator Tim Zeszutek (Retired)
New York State Police

July 24, 2017

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